Health Notes: Tips for allergy sufferers - 9 things that can aggravate your condition

Here are some simple tricks to help keep allergies away, from Chicago Healers practitioner Dr. Ian Wahl.

Stress – Performing stress-inducing tasks during prime allergy season can wage a major attack against the body.  Studies show that stress might trigger the production of IgE, blood proteins that cause allergic reactions. 


Alcohol –Many people enjoy a glass of wine at night, but unfortunately this can be very detrimental.  Alcohol can raise the risk of perennial allergic rhinitis by 3 percent.  The bacteria and yeast in alcohol can produce histamines, chemicals that cause classic allergy symptoms like stuffy nose and itchy eyes. 

Medication Delay –Histamine-blocking medicine works optimally before exposure to allergens, so start regimens a few weeks before the season starts for the best allergy relief.


Lukewarm Laundry –Studies show that washing sheets in 140-degree water killed 100 percent of dust mites, while the normal 104 degree wash only killed 6.5 percent.  Making adjustments to the washing machine might do the trick. 

Houseplants –Studies show that more than 75 percent of hay fever sufferers are allergic to at least one common houseplant.   This is because allergens in plant sap can diffuse into the air and trigger sniffling.  The worst varieties for allergy-prone people are orchid, fuca, yuccus, ivy, palm and fern.

Skipping PM Medicine It is very important to take allergy medicine at night so that it is circulating in the bloodstream in the morning when symptoms like sneezing, weepy eyes and runny nose peak.

Indoor Pools – Chlorine is one of the biggest enemies of allergy sufferers.  Used to disinfect pools, it is highly irritating to the skin, eyes and respiratory tracts.  A recent study found that teens who logged 100 hours or more in indoor pools were three to seven times as likely to develop hay fever as those who used chlorine-free pools.

Secondhand Smoke – Cigarette smoke is awful for everyone but studies show that allergy sufferers are extra sensitive to it.

AM-Only Showers­ Those suffering from hay fever would benefit from a quick rinse after getting home at the end of the day.  Studies show that hidden pollen particles can get trapped on the body, hair, clothes and shoes, continuing to trigger symptoms long after coming indoors for the day.

Dr. Wahl offers these tips to help alleviate symptoms:

  • Drink Cool Water—Rehydrating is one of the best ways to eliminate toxins from the body while simultaneously cooling down.
  • Take a Vitamin C SupplementVitamin C acts as a natural antihistamine, reducing the levels of symptom-causing histamine. 1000 milligrams of a natural vitamin C supplement, such as Ester-C, taken twice a day is the recommended dosage to fight allergies and asthma.
  • Eat a Magnesium Rich Diet400 milligrams of magnesium daily can provide relief from nasal allergies and breathing problems. The best sources of magnesium are nuts, beans, whole grains, green leafy vegetables and bananas.
  • Nutrients for Your Nose—Vitamin A, selenium, zinc, and vitamin E can all help to protect mucus membranes from the damaging effects of air pollution. For natural relief from inflammation, take 250 milligrams of quercetin, a plant-based chemical found in the skins of apples and red onions, three times a day.
  • Wear Sunglasses When Going OutdoorsAllergic rhinitis, or hay fever, creates a certain amount of photosensitivity. Sunglasses block the light, reducing photosensitivity and the watery eyes it causes.

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